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Bull Bash this weekend

For Wayne and Summer White of Milner, raising and riding bulls has been a way of life for decades. They will showcase the pride of XX Bulls as they host the second annual Bull Bash this weekend at Chestnut Oak in Meansville Friday and Saturday, March 30-31. The Southern Extreme Bull Riders Association-sanctioned event will attract some of the sport’s best riders for a weekend of heart-stopping family fun right here in Pike County. ’It’s going to be great event. It’s action-packed, wholesome family fun,’ said Summer White. ‘No one can understand how fun it is until they come out and see it first hand. These are the best bulls and bull riders from around the U.S. We’re also going to have plenty of events for kids, including a dance contest, watermelon crawl, pony rides and inflatables.’ Entertainment for the show will be provided by funny man Matt Merritt and renowned rodeo announcer Luke Kaufman. The gates open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Several bull riders from Georgia will be at the event including Austin Williams of Brooks, Dean Bates of Temple and Justin Bates of Draketown. Bullfighters who will keep the riders safe include Cole Ivey of Fayetteville, Chris Leggett of Waycross and Mikual Glass of Temple. Tickets are available in advance at Circle R Feed Store for $10 and $12 at the gate, with children 6 and under free. Wayne rode bulls professionally for 18 years, taking home many title belts from rodeos across North America. ’He fell in love with the challenges of bull riding and decided he wanted to ride bulls out of Covington,’ Summer said. ‘He gave up a full scholarship to do it and he was really good at it so he kept on riding.’ The couple met in Summer’s front yard in Brooks, where her dad, bull rider Randy Williams, and her brother Austin had a practice pen. She saw him through many triumphs, injuries and falls in hundreds of bull riding arenas. About three years ago, Wayne changed his focus from riding bulls to providing bulls. Now XX Bulls in Milner delivers top-quality bulls for events across the country. Summer and Wayne have three sons, Tyler, 12, Blake, 9, and Evan, 2, who help raise the cattle and do other farm chores. ’My husband is extremely passionate about this sport. He said for 18 years it was the most important thing in his life,’ Summer said. ‘When his family became the most important thing in his life, he decided to stop riding and start XX Bulls.’ ’Evan helps his daddy feed the bulls and cows and put out hay. Tyler will help in the back pens with some of the bulls, taking flank ropes off them. Blake just wants to be a bull rider so he’s constantly practicing any way he can ‘“ whether it’s on a person or an ottoman.’ This is the second rodeo the family has sponsored in Pike, with the first happening just days after the deadly April 2011 tornadoes. The family has 14 bulls and six heifers and travels with them to professional arenas all over the country. ’Wayne recently went to El Paso and Lufkin, Texas, for the Championship Bull Riding Event. This weekend, he’s going to Bonifay, Fla., to provide bulls for a Christian-based event hosted by a friend he met while bull riding,’ Summer said. ‘In the SEBRA finals, our bull named Ejector was the high mark bull in the second round and we brought home a buckle for that. He was the best and it was the finals so the best of the best bulls were there. He’s going to be one of the bulls to watch at the Bull Bash.’

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